Washington: US military`s efforts to oust
Ahmed Wali Karzai, the powerful half-brother of Afghan
president Hamid Karzai, from power in Kandahar has failed with
the top American commander in the region ordering his forces
to work with `AWK` and not against him.
Reporting on a March 8 classified meeting held at NATO
headquarters in Kabul presided over by the top US commander in
Afghanistan, General Stanley A McChrystal, the Washington
Post said some American military officials hoped that the
session would lead to the ouster of Ahmed Wali Karazi, the
most powerful figure in southern Afghanistan.
"But what has emerged instead appears to have left
Karzai stronger than ever," the Post said on the 48-year-old
During the classified briefing session, a dossier on
Ahmed Wali Karzai was presented which the critics of the
Afghan leader hoped might ultimately persuade Hamid Karzai,
the President, to remove his brother from power.
Instead, NATO and American officials say the
presentation was so unpersuasive that McChrystal directed his
subordinates to "stop saying bad stuff about AWK" and instead
to work with him.
AWK is regarded by some US intelligence officials as
indispensable, but he has long been viewed with mistrust by
American military officers, who describe him as an obstacle in
their efforts to fight corruption and bolster the rule of law.
Some NATO officials say the best they can hope for is
that AWK, who heads a provincial council, will stand aside and
let Kandahar`s governor, Tooryalai Wesa, become a bigger
player in the province`s bare-knuckled politics. But some
American officials say it is naive to think that Ahmed Wali
Karzai will loosen his grip on Kandahar.
Since he returned to Afghanistan in 1992, after
spending a decade in the United States, he has demonstrated an
ability to get results where others in the Afghan government
fail, the report said.
"I know how to talk to the people," Karzai said
humbly. "I know how to deal with these tribes. I know what
their needs are. I know how to address their needs. This is
the skill I have learned."
AWK has long been a source of friction within the US
government. He has long-standing ties to the CIA and has
reportedly been paid by the agency for providing security
forces and safe houses in and around Kandahar.
His critics say they have little doubt that Karzai is
involved in the opium trade, the Post said.
This month, Karzai shut down the 15-member provincial
council in a fit of pique after the Afghan army accused him of
seizing government land.
Karzai lumps all these allegations into what he sees
as a smear campaign by his family`s political enemies.
"It`s ridiculous," he said. "It`s all our Afghan
internal problem, internal politics."